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Opening the Bar Part 2: The Name Game


Commitment is a terrifying word. Scratch that, it’s not a word. It’s an all-encompassing tangible, emotional, rational, fantasy that society holds on a pedestal (yes that’s like 20 oxymorons). We all need it, deserve it, and are expected to give it to our employers, diets, spouses, fitness regimens, careers, religions…everything! Fuck it, I commit to you, Life! But commitment is not some sort of motivational expectation (imagine where Nike would be… Just Commit… ouch!). Instead, it’s an unattainable expectation up there with perfection; just constantly misleading those hopeless romantics always choosing the “bad boys.”

It’s also, in a weird way, a safety net; a justification to continue down a path that even includes directions. How often do we hear “I’ve made this commitment and I have to live with it” and acknowledge it’s a whole hell of a lot easier than moving out, switching careers, learning something new (quiver!). But what about commitment in business? Clearly the rules are different or else “sunk cost” wouldn’t be an accounting term.

Pause… hashtag sunk life? An allocation for ex-boyfriends and other failed commitments. I was a competitive figure skater for 13 years #sunklife.

Anyway, business and commitment, at what point to we acknowledge that our idea has no economical value, is driven by emotions, has no market, or just flat out sucks? At what point does moving forward outweigh perfecting (or at least trying to perfect) a particular stage?

These were the questions I found myself asking that fateful day when Andrew decided that our soon-to-be tavern’s name needed a rework. In other words, days after we launched our social media campaigns, and finished our website (that’s like 10 variations on ‘biz name + year + !’ worth of passwords), Andrew decides LC Farmery doesn’t make any sense.

“it’s too cute… and people don’t know what ‘LC’ stands for” he worries. Seriously?! Ok babe, I love you, but really? “Of course they don’t know what LC stands for, they’re effing initials, that’s the point!” I bellowed (regrettably… love the drama). Local Craft Farmery was our name for months, but as soon as we were committed via Facebook, to about 50 people (who were obligated to “like” us as family and friends by the way), Andrew decided we were being stupid and our name wasn’t approachable.

Now I know what you’re thinking here… LC Farmery MUST have been my idea as the creative (genius) girlfriend, obvi. WRONG! Andrew’s name. So now I too had a decision to make – would I entertain this sudden questioning and acknowledge that a name is THAT important, required to be perfect, do or die, and if there was any doubt, we absolutely needed to address it… yesterday! Or, do I use my inner woman psychoanalysis and convince Andrew this was a classic case of commitment phobia? That we were already too far down this path to turn back, that a name is words, branding is the experience, culture, vibe irrespective of the words. (Are you motivated yet?!)

Personally, the thought of rebranding (cough cough renaming) everything on social media was overwhelming. My family and friends had watched me bounce from idea to idea across social media from fashion (disaster) to burgers, infused oil and now a bar, my computer and Facebook pages are littered with half-written business plans and photo-shopped stock photos attempting to pass as inspiring logos. I was on a mission with LC Farmery to dive in head first and move past the dreaming phase to reality! I was ready to Nike the shit out of this and just do it! No name change necessary!

So naturally, I didn’t post on Insta, Tweet anyone, or boost LC Farmery’s Facebook for a few days while Andrew and I considered alternative names. Andrew and I are sort of creative, and by that I mean Andrew is creative (sort of) and definitely clever. I’m neither. For example, Andrew’s favorite joke goes something like this:

Grace: Oh shit, I’m going to be so late… WHERE ARE MY KEYS?!

Andrew: Bend over I’ll show you

(I don’t really tell jokes.)

So the last minute, time sensitive name game was particularly constructive. We talked about Wooden Table (too foodie…and plagiarized), Vessel (synonym for ‘barrel’ on, Farm Brew (too limiting…wine! Hello!), van Bark’s (what about me?), van Paulsen Bark’s (too long), Hank’s (we like our dog, but we’re not psycho), and my personal favorite Snifter Flute (a play on glassware).

In the end, all we got were some good laughs and the realization that although LC Farmery sounds like farming, a farmer’s market, local stuff (so generally our theme), it could be tougher (like armory) or super lame (like creamery) but because it’s abbreviated, there are like really cool logo options with initials. Oh, and it’s probably the most creative, generic name we could conjure up. So ultimately, we kept it and just decided to remove the bubbles from our logo because they were soft.